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Readers Read Trump

Lots of good Trump commentary today from you readers. Here’s one from Roger H.:

I’m one of those doing quite well, and supporting Mr. Trump’s bid for the Presidency. I’m a degreed mathematician doing research and development in cybersecurity, with a growing portfolio of professional publications, and patents pending. I’m a Marine veteran of the Iraq war whose ‘eggs aren’t too scrambled’. I married woman who went to one of the best schools in the UK and graduated with honors from one of the best universities in the US. I truly believe that my wife, my child, and I will be fine no matter who wins this election.

But I’m cheering Mr. Trump and planning on voting for him.

I come from a medium-sized city in Virginia that has hitched its wagon to the fortunes of the major state university there, as well as the two private colleges in the area. (One of which was briefly mentioned on this blog in the past year.) My hometown is historically a pretty rural area, but that’s changing.

As a case study, I would point you to our local poultry plant. It used to be the case that this plant provided good jobs to a lot of the locals who weren’t college material, but now you’d be hard pressed to find many people who grew up in the county working there. You’d be hard pressed to find more than 15% or so of the workforce fluent in the English Language. The local workforce was replaced by cheaper immigrant labor.

While this has happened, my hometown has become a major drug smuggling point in the East Coast. One of my childhood friends got caught up in the synthetic drug trade and is serving a 30-odd year sentence. There are gangs — Gangster Disciples, SUR 13…I believe I remember hearing about Bloods in the area. This is not the happy, little rural college town that I remember from my childhood. (And I do recognize that it may never have been the town of my childhood memories, but what it has become is NOT an improvement.)

I also LOVE that Mr. Trump is standing up to the blatant dishonesty of political correctness. (But the PC rant is another topic that I haven’t time for this morning.)

Why am I supporting Mr. Trump? My close circle might well benefit a little bit more with another candidate, but I maintain a memory and fondness of the place that I came from and the people there. I’d like to see their world built back up, or at least to see its eroding and creative destruction ceased. Will Mr. Trump accomplish this? I don’t know. He is pretty plainly stating that there’s a problem, diagnosing it reasonably well, and claiming that he can do something about it. That’s something. It’s more than the lip service that we hear from the other candidates. Mr. Trump is…a deeply flawed candidate and man, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Here’s one from Erik Lonnrot:

Rod, at what point do we need to stop merely trying to understand Trump supporters and start trying to stop them? All due respect, there’s nothing about their support for him I don’t understand. I understand them thoroughly. At the end of the day, they support a man who is now a monstrous demagogue and who would be a monstrous tyrant. I empathize with Charles Featherstone, who lucidly recognizes his attraction to Trump as envy. But he’s also lucid enough not to vote for the guy.

Look, I get not want to bolt over to Hilary Clinton. I also get being irate at the GOP and not wanting to vote for any of them in the general election. I would even get not voting in the primary, since virtually everyone except Rand Paul who is not Trump ran on some variation of the policies that got people mad at the party in the first place. (And Paul’s economic ideas are less than feasible at this point in our history.) None of that is a good reason to vote for Trump. If the country really is in decline, Trump is the person who would leave it a smoking crater at the end of four years. Voting for him is madness. Yes, an “understandable” madness, but madness nonetheless.

So. I’ve heard the sob stories. I’ve heard the litany of betrayals. I’ve heard the indictments of the GOP’s bad faith. I swear to you that I get it. None of that is sufficient, in my book, to protect Trumpkins from the fundamentally true criticism that they are knowingly supporting a racist, xenophobic, misogynist, ignorant bully who encourages violence at his rallies and openly brags about abusing the system to make himself richer (and, by logical extension, to make the rest of us poorer). If the Trumpkins get that, and they don’t care, what do we do, Rod? I mean, it’s all well and good to give these people space to air their grievances and disappointments, but from where I sit, they are one hundred percent committed to the wholesale decimation of what precious little respect, civility, and coherent policy debate still remains in national politics. Doesn’t this merit a vigorous, sustained rebuttal or denunciation?

This is important, because Donald Trump is not “single-handedly destroying the Republican Party.” He’s doing it with the hands of every single person who has voted for him, and who has pledged to support his candidacy, however much longer that lasts. And if, God forbid, Trump actually makes it to the White House, he will not be “single-handedly” destroying the United States of America. He will do it with the help of every single one of the people who voted for him. I’ve no love for the Republican Party. They certainly, as they say, had this coming. But Trump is a menace to more than the GOP, and there are ways to weaken and destroy a political party that don’t involve running a crypto-fascist as a viable primary candidate.

At what point, Rod, do his voters start sharing culpability for every racist, misogynist, xenophobic, ignorant thing he says and every act of violence he encourages? Because your posts have made it very clear that they know exactly what kind of person he is. They’re supporting him anyway. Which means that they are knowingly supporting all the evil crap that goes along with it. People of good conscience don’t support that kind of stuff. As I said at the outset, I totally get refusing to vote Republican or Democrat. I get why people are angry. I get why, in theory, they want to vote for someone who will dismantle the status quo. And while I do totally understand why people vote for Trump, a huge part of that understanding is the knowledge that every single one of these people has endorsed, with eyes wide open and their consciences apparently clear, everything diabolical about his campaign as well.

How much time are you going to spend trying to understand that?

Here’s one from BCaldwell:

To the liberals and progressives who still dismiss the travails of the white working class, you only reinforce their alienation and disdain …for you. Here’s a fact that sometimes is lost on liberals and progressives. If the white working class, particularly the white male working class is becoming manifestly unhappy, unmoored and alienated, then the body politic has major problems on their hands.

Some of you have said that they have ignored the Democrats whose economic policies would be better for them and that they voted for the Republicans so they get what they deserved. Well, economically that may be true, but you forget about the other side. If someone was constantly denigrating you , calling you a racist, calling you a bigot and belittling those values that you held as integral , like traditional family, childbearing AFTER marriage. The natural order of things like if you are born a man then , guess what Bubba? You’re a man and no amount of dress up and prosthetic surgery is going to change that. These were values that had kept their grandparents and parents world stable and sustained. Democrat elites look at those people in that world with a more than obvious dose of condescension. Their response: ” I’m not doing you any favors.”

Progressives are beginning to reap what they sowed when they started minimizing and denigrating the “white European heterosexual male…and female.”

Y’all have fun reading and discussing among yourselves. I am going back to bed. Today marks week two with this damned sinus infection, and I am a mess. The antibiotics course ends tomorrow, and I’m still sick.

UPDATE: Doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, more good comments while I was crashed. Including:

Another thought provoked by Dancer Girl’s comments:

“I just wish [Trump voters]’d leave him behind and rally around Bernie Sanders.”

Well it would be nice if poor Southern Blacks would do the same.

It’s obvious to many commentators that working-class Republican voters are voting against their own interests by allowing themselves to be fooled by cultural cues and dog whistles. But the big unreported story is that the same thing is happening in the Democratic primaries as well. Poor Southern Blacks are voting by colossal margins for the Wall Street version of the Democratic Party over the socialist version of the Democratic Party. Why? Because the Wall Street candidate is married to a guy who has all his Southern fried cultural cues and dog whistles working right and the socialist has spent too much of his time among up-tight Yankees in Vermont.

Just one more way in which salt of the earth Blacks and Whites aren’t all that different and are, in everything except tribal allegiance, getting more similar all the time. Both put racial honor and dignity over economic self-interest, and for a technocratic, policy-oriented politics aiming to just make lives better, that’s a real problem.

Here’s one from Elli:

I’m having tree work done today. As when I had my roof replaced, there is a white American company owner, and a crew of Hispanic immigrants, most them speaking English with an accent.

We have been struggling. Our income peaked 17 years ago, even with me going to work since then. It helps us that when we need work done we can’t do ourselves that the workmen are being paid only 12 to 15 dollars an hour. But it isn’t right. Those men are doing skilled and dangerous work.

Americans should be doing that work, and they should be being paid more.

And when my husband applies for jobs, he shouldn’t see that half the time, the application is to be sent to the local H1-B center.

And when I apply for jobs, I shouldn’t read “minimum two years experience” while the hospital industry cries shortage and lobbies congress for more foreign nurses.

When I go into an assisted living facility or group home, I shouldn’t see that nearly all the aides are from the Caribbean or Africa, doing difficult and often dispiriting work, that requires great compassion, patience, and observational skill, because the industry – our society – has decreed that that work is worth, at most, 12 to 15 dollars an hour, in one of the most expensive states in the country.

When my son looks for a job with his STEM degree, he shouldn’t read about companies saying STEM shortage, increase the visas, because you know on the job training is impossible.

And yet, somehow, a vulgar, louche, bombastic braggart, who has used eminent domain law to attempt to force a widow out of her home to build a casino parking lot, who has brought in foreigners on temporary visas in preference to hiring Americans, who is accused of fraud by students at his “university” – somehow that man is my family and my countrymen’s best hope, because he MIGHT mean what he says about curtailing immigration – he MIGHT stick with this horse he is flogging towards the election.

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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